Top cop back at work after PCC u-turn

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An uneasy truce has emerged at Lincolnshire Police headquarters after Chief Constable Neil Rhodes’ return to work this week.

Mr Rhodes successfully challenged a decision by county Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick to suspend him over allegations about his conduct after a judge ruled that it was “irrational”

Lawyers for the Commissioner and Mr Rhodes gave evidence at a court hearing last Wednesday and after the ruling, Mr Hardwick initially said the Chief Constable would not be returning to the role.

But in a statement on Monday, Mr Hardwick said: “After discussions over the weekend, myself and temporary Chief Constable Neil Rhodes have jointly agreed that the best interests of Lincolnshire Police would be served by him continuing as temporary Chief Constable.

“He will continue until the completion of the investigation into allegations about his conduct and any subsequent procedures.

“In reaching this agreement, the importance of stability in the leadership of the force was the primary concern.”

Mr Rhodes said in a statement: “I look forward to serving the community of Lincolnshire as best as I am able to.”

MP calls for clarity about Chief’s future

South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes has called on Alan Hardwick to reassure the public about Mr Rhodes’ position after his suspension was lifted last week.

Mr Hayes said: “Whilst I appreciate that it’s not our role to get involved in operational matters, I do think that greater clarity is necessary now about what’s going on at Lincolnshire Police headquarters and I’m inclined to write to Alan Hardwick asking for this.

“Speculation isn’t helpful to either Neil Rhodes and Mr Hardwick who, I’m sure, are both perfectly decent and reasonable people.”